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PERU seeks to eradicate a record 22.000 Hectares of coca in 2013


Lucien Chauvin, Lime, 21/01/2013, Dialogue-Americas

Peru's government wants the world to know who is serious about eliminating illegal coca crops used to make cocaine.

Interior Minister Wilfredo Pedraza announced 14 January that his government will eradicate at least 22.000 hectares of coca 2013. Is 4.000 hectares more than the original goal for the year, and well above the record 14.100 hectares destroyed 2012.

Achieving the ambitious goal of eradication would be an important step to reverse the upward trend in Peruvian coca production that began around 2005. Although previous governments achieved their goals of eradicating, growing coca farmers replanted at a higher rate.

The new government plan includes a much broader scope for the eradication squad, known as CORAH, an increase in the budget for coca eradication and drug interdiction, and a program to dramatically increase state presence not only in areas where cocaine is now cultivated, but in areas where they could cultivate.

"We are developing strategies and preventive post-cocaine", said Mario Rios, unit leader in promoting and monitoring the government agency drug DEVIDA. "We need to provide alternatives to coca farmers to stop, and ensure that coca is not spreading to other areas ".

It is still unclear whether eradication crews come to Loreto CORAH. Zarate said that an eradication program similar to Upper Huallaga would be too costly, due to the remoteness of the area. An alternative would be periodic eradication missions, counterdrug operations coordinated well with Brazilian and Colombian authorities.

Peru and Brazil established a task force late last year to develop protocols for joint military and police operations in border areas, considering that the two countries share almost 3.000 km (1.800 miles) border in jungle areas.

Peru reported 62.500 hectares of coca 2011, according to the annual report submitted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), increased slightly over 2 percent over the previous year. This increase occurred despite the elimination of more than 12.000 hectares in 2010.

Peru is the second largest producer of coca in the world, according to UNODC figures behind the first-place, Colombia, con 64.000 hectares under cultivation, above and Bolivia, cwith27.200 hectares. The President Ollanta Humala said he would like to see Peru last before leaving office in July 2016.

Although production estimates differ, Most analysts believe that Peru produces between 350 and 400 metric tons of cocaine a year.

Extends CORAH coca eradication efforts to VRAEM

This year, Peru plans to expand its program to eradicate forced to high-risk areas. The eradication brigade, CORAH, has focused exclusively Upper Huallaga Valley in the north since its founding. Rios said next year will eradicate the valleys formed by the rivers Apurimac, Jan and Mantaro, area known as VRAEM, and possibly in the region of Putumayo, in the department of Loreto, along the northern border where Peru meets Brazil and Colombia.

In 2012, housed near the VRAEM 20.000 hectares of coca, says UNODC report, which means the 32 percent of all land under coca cultivation in Peru. Coca crops have been increasing since the beginning of the last decade. The area-the last bastion of leftist Shining Path rebels, also has been in a state of emergency from June 2003. Last year there was an increase in violence by Shining Path, including the mass kidnapping of a pipeline workers in April, and the murder of 20 police officers and soldiers.

Although coca cultivation in Loreto represented only 7 percent of the land used for coca UNODC report, have expanded rapidly, increasing 1.209 hectáreas en 2008 a 4.450 hectares in 2011; that year coca production increased 40 percent.

"It's the first time in the VRAEM eradication will have to be done correctly and, accompanied by a state platform that provides all the necessary services. The individual programs will not work ", Rios said.

Authorities say that eradication will only succeed if coca farmers have viable alternatives and what markets to grow. Peru has already replaced the cocaine with coffee and cocoa; promising alternative products include rubber, biofuels and tropical fruits.

"Alternative development is working and we are focused on cooperation, not only financial assistance but technical cooperation, create markets and certify products. We need to ensure a diversity of products and markets for farmers', Carmen Masias reported, director DEVIDA.

Project receives funding $1.100 million this year

The Peruvian government has kept crews off VRAEM eradication fearing a social explosion, motivated not only by the presence of Shining Path and drug, but also due to a lack of governmental presence. However, Humala's government, to the increasing violence and the expansion of coca cultivation in the region the size of Belgium, ended by announcing a major offensive to 2013.

Humala's government has allocated $1.100 million for this year VRAEM, more than double the previous year's budget. This includes major investments in roads, water and electricity systems, education and health. Defence Minister Peter Cateriano announced in late December that the government also hire $300 million in new debt in 2013 to combat terrorism and drug trafficking in the area, including construction of eight bases and the acquisition of counterterrorism boats and aircraft.

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UN, 27/09/ 2012, Week

A day after the presidents of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos; Mexico, Felipe Calderon; and Guatemala, Otto Pérez, he asked the United Nations to lead the search for new ways to combat drug trafficking, the international body said it is willing to cooperate in this field, but that does not correspond to call the shots.

“We do not have the ability to change international law”, said Yury Fedotov, executive director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC, for its acronym in English). “We serve the state and members continue to seek the best ways to stop this problem”.

Meanwhile, Amado Philip de Andrés, representative of the UNODC Regional Office for Central America and the Caribbean, said that they are working behind to advise governments. “We say this works or does not, then governments are sovereign to say what they can do”, said . “We need well-trained police, prosecutors can prosecute truth, mareros integration programs. It's a new thought”.

Precisely,UNODC reported Thursday explaining the problem of violence related to drug trafficking and said that in Honduras there are on average 92 homicides per 100.000 people. Worldwide, more than 200.000 people die from illegal drugs each year, Fedotov said.

In its report, qualified “Transnational Organized Crime in Central America and the Caribbean”, UNODC recommends that countries combat impunity and corruption while reinforcing the police and the justice system. It also calls for more regional coordination to address the problem.

Andres told reporters that alternatives calling Latin American presidents include a discussion on how they could implement international conventions, how the rehabilitation and prevention programs or how the police can cooperate with each other in different countries.

Regarding the regularization of illegal substances, mentioned the possible legalization of marijuana in Uruguay and spoke of the need to discuss the issue because of possible negative consequences.

“You have to do a real analysis of the health consequences. If cannabis is legalized in one or two countries that can open a Pandora door very important for other drugs”, said.

“We are looking at what are the trends in drug consumption, for example in Brazil increases the crack, and how we can atajarlas, will increase and if, what would be the consequences for public health and especially on the public purse”, added the expert.

“The Central American countries have increased the security budget. But, Does that increase would cover a tripling in society the number of cases of drug addicts? In several years, Will we be able to have a fully integrated society of drug addicts in society?”, Andrew wondered.

Both Fedotov as De Andres said the UNDC is decentralized and now has several offices in Latin America, Included in Mexico and Panama, to address more directly the issue.

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Ruben Aguilar Valenzuela, Mexico, 05/08/2012, Infolatam

Potential cocaine production worldwide was 785 metric tons 2011 and of them 195 corresponded to Colombia, 265 Bolivia and 325 in Peru, that becomes the most important producer of the three countries, According to the Office for Drug Control of U.S. Government.

According to this version of the Colombian production decreased 25 por ciento al pasar de 300 tons in 2010 a 195 en 2011. It is not the fact of Unidin Nacionea Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC, for its acronym in English), holding just fell 1.4 por ciento al pasar de 3percent, going from345 en 2011.ina

The two agencies agree that low production of Colombia, but the amounts differ radically. First met UNODC figures and one week after the U.S. government. There is a real conflict between these two units as noted by the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA).

UNODC with their numbers say that Plan Colombia has not been as successful as has been claimed and the United States government, it has funded, yes. The only institutions that offer global production estimates are these two instances and it is clear that there is a discrepancy between them.

The area of ​​coca cultivation, worldwide that is only produced in the Andean region, was 160,000 hectares in 2010 according to UNODC. The area under cultivation in Colombia was 64 thousand hectares in 2011, of Peru 60,000 en 2009 and Bolivia 31,000 en 2in0, according to the same source.

Experts agree that by technological improvements that have taken producers now receive more coca leaves per hectare than years ago and also innovations in processing by now you get more "pasta" of cocaine less coca leaf.

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30/07/2012, AFP / Diálogo

Ecuador, it borders with Colombia, the world's largest producer of cocaine, being implemented mechanisms to prevent the infiltration of international drug trafficking organizations, President Rafael Correa said.

"We are taking all measures to prevent the infiltration of international cartels in Ecuador", the president said in an interview with TV channel range, the 25 July.

He added that "Ecuador is probably the only country that does not produce coca".

"You know how hard it is sure that there is drug trafficking in our country when, with affection and respect for Colombia and Peru, we are limited by the largest producers of coca in the world?”, Correa asked.

Colombia recorded in 2011 a slight increase in their coca crops with a total of 64.000 hectares (3% rather than 2010), according to a report of the UN office on drugs and crime (UNODC) submitted on 25 July in Bogota.

The total cocaine production in that country 2011 was 345 tons, which means a slight decrease in 1,4% with previous year.

Colombia has so far been the largest producer of cocaine and has had the biggest areas of coca cultivation in the world, followed by Peru and Bolivia, countries that have not yet published their figures 2011.

During the first half of 2012, Ecuador seized about 18 tons of drugs, mainly cocaine. Drug seizures reached 26 tons in 2011, versus 18 toneladas de 2010, and record 68 toneltons.

The 23 July, four policemen were arrested for allegedly Ecuadorian extort a man who allegedly linked to drug money, found in a Mexican plane that crashed in May.

In the aircraft, in which the authorities found 1,3 billion, two Mexicans were killed in the crash, occurred in the coastal province of Manabi (southwest).

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